Porto Portugal
Escadas da Esnoga/
Stairs of the Synagogue Square,
Dec. 17, 2006 (nightfall)


Welcome everyone,

Ladina is an association of Sephardic Marrano culture dedicated to rescuing the memory and culture of our Jewish people who in 1497, the year of the forced baptism, constituted a fifth of the Portuguese population.
We light these candles to celebrate Hanukah, the festival of lights which comemorates the re-taking of the Temple.
We light these candles in memory of Captain Barros Basto, Apostle of the Marranos, a man of vision and courage who in the 1930s built a magnificent Jewish Cathedral of the North. He was a victim of the New State and of Catholic intregalism. He suffered an injustice and needs to be rehabilitated.
We light these candles in memory of the victims of the Inquisition, of whom 3,000 were burned, some alive, like Professor Antonio Homem, Chancelor of Coimbra University, Abbot of the Cathedral, and secret rabbi who was burned alive in 1624 at an auto de fe in Lisbon.
We also remember our people who fled the Inquisition for places incognito, such as Amsterdam, London, New York, Salonica, Venice and Brazil.
Also, in this place, we remember Gabriel da Costa (Uriel Acosta) who was born here, around the corner, on Sao Miguel Street before he fled to Amsterdam where he inspired the great philosopher Bento Espinosa (Baruch Spinoza), whose family came from Evora, Lisbon, Porto and Ponte de Lima. Uriel is the great forgotten Marrano intellectual of Porto.
We hope that in this era of tolerance, our people are able rescue their cultural and religious memory.

(Following these opening remarks, Mr. Ferrão Filipe, director of the Israeli Community of Porto and Isabel Barros Basto Lopes, granddaughter of the Captain addressed the assembled. Then rabbi Eliezer Shai Di Martiano (courtesy Shavei Israel), initiated the ceremony.)